Survivors in Wapping, 1976

Survivors was a TV series made by the BBC in the mid-1970s that explored Britain’s post-apocalyptic near future. With most of the world’s population killed by plague, the survivors were ‘reduced to trudging across the countryside in their parkas’ (Dominic Sandbrook in Seasons In The Sun) in search of food and shelter. The creator, Terry Nation, went on to make Blake’s 7. The series featured numerous guest stars – Brian Blessed, Patrick Troughton – as well as faces that would become better known in the 1980s like Dot from Eastenders, Peter Duncan from Blue Peter and Trigger from Only Fool’s And Horses.

It’s Trigger, aka Roger Lloyd-Pack, who you may recognise in the pictures below. They come from an episode shot on  a bleak wasteland in Wapping in 1976.

In the absence of an actual post-apocalyptic landscape on which to film, the decimated docks of Wapping made a handy substitute. The main location is the site of the current Hermitage Riverside Memorial Gardens – then a bombsite but now the location for London’s only memorial to the civilian dead of the Blitz – but there are several interesting looking buildings in the background. Reader Steve, who sent me the pictures, wants to know if any of these buildings remain. (Other than Tower Bridge, obviously.)

If you know, please tell us in the comments below.

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7 responses to “Survivors in Wapping, 1976

  1. There’s the pebble-dashed monstrosity that was the Tower Thistle (now the Tower Guoman) which I imagine was the height of modernity in the mid-1970s

  2. Oh, how I remember ‘The Survivors’. At that time I had to travel from Cornwall to Exeter across Dartmoor early one morning without encountering other cars or people and imagined what it would be like to one of them! Thanks for the memory!
    Annemarie, Husum, Germany

  3. One of my favourite series when I was a kid. It’s available on DVD but I don’t dare watch it – it will probably look like tosh now.

  4. How fascinating! I bet the residents of Wapping are fuming (or maybe nodding in agreement)?

  5. The building in the background of the bottom of the picture are at the junction of Wapping High Street and St Katherine Way. The pitched roof building is called Riviera Court.

  6. philscorzonera

    An aside – Roger Lloyd Pack was the only actor to appear in both the original “Survivors” and the 2008 remake.

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